Monday, December 13, 2010

Monday's Meditation: A Person and His Promises

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact
that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. Romans 4:18-21
Last month I posted my reflections on the limits of doubt, a post that generated some interest, but left me cold because I had concentrated on the negative. I love this passage from Romans because it points me toward faith even while taking doubt into consideration. Faith is a worthy meditation for the week. To get you started, here are just a couple of notes.

"He faced the fact that his body was a good as dead." I love this. It tells me that faith does not require that I ignore the facts. I can stare frankly at what is before me. At the same time there are things bigger than the facts. This passage teaches me I can acknowledge my doubts without celebrating them.

Being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.“ Verses 20 and 21 tell me that Abraham's faith rested in God's promises, not a limited understanding of the situation. In fact, Abraham was persuaded that God could and would act. I suspect the reason faith is difficult for some people is that they’ve been told faith is believing a set of theological “facts” instead of trusting a person--a person fully capable and willing of acting on their behalf.

In another New Testament book Peter said that we become partakers in the divine nature through God's promises. His promises give us hope. That hope whispers to us, "go ahead--dare to to trust him, and to trust his promise!" I want nothing to do with a definition of faith that requires agreement with propositions, I want everything to do with a faith that requires me to hope and trust in the Father's promise.

Perhaps you could consider this during the week: faith is not agreeing with a set of propositions, it’s knowing a Person, hearing His promises, and trusting Him to fulfill them. Surely that’s better than celebrating my doubt, isn’t it?

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